King County Search Dogs

KCSD is an all-volunteer unit of the King County Search and Rescue Association

Please call 911 if you have a search emergency

Search Missions since 1996
901
Training Hours in 2016
5026

What we do

SEARCH

King County Search Dog teams are deployed by County Sheriffs or State Emergency Management to help locate missing persons and evidence. KCSD volunteers and their dogs are certified in two main types of search activity; airscent (looking for any human in a wilderness or park environment) and trailing (looking for a specific human by following a search subject’s unique smells). Some KCSD teams have additional specialty search & rescue certifications for avalanche, disaster, water and human remains detection work. You can learn more in the WHAT we do pages.

TRAIN

King County Search Dogs train a lot! It takes eighteen months or more of training several times a week to develop a reliable airscent or trailing dog. Continued training is then required to pass periodic re-certification tests. In order to comply with the demanding core competency standards of the King County Search and Rescue Association, KCSD handlers and support personnel also undergo extensive training and testing in areas such as wilderness navigation, search & rescue techniques, radio communication, crime scene management, helicopter safety and searcher survival.

EDUCATE

Many KCSD members are respected search dog experts who in turn teach throughout the northwest and around the world.  KCSD also has an active outreach program to raise awareness of KCSD and to promote personal safety in the wilderness. KCSD members and their dogs visit schools, camps and other groups around King County to provide informative talks and demonstrations. You can find additional information on the Stay Safe and Education Pages.

More about what we do

WHO we are

KCSD Members are all volunteers from the Seattle metropolitan area (King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties) who give up hundreds of hours each year training their personal dogs to the professional calibre required for effective search missions. KCSD volunteers are available for missions 24 hours a day, seven days a week and come from all walks of life. Some members have been engaged in search and rescue work for over twenty years!  You can learn more about the history and governance of KCSD, browse photo and video albums, and find information on current and past KCSD teams and support personnel in the WHO we are pages.

YOU can help

KCSD dogs love to search! Nevertheless, we would much rather meet you at one of our outreach events than as the subject of a Sheriff’s search mission. Before you go out to enjoy the wonderful pacific northwest learn what common sense preparations you can make to keep your activities fun and safe. KCSD is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization and depends on help from the community it serves. You can help KCSD continue its important work through cash or in-kind donations to help the ongoing need for expensive specialized equipment and maintenance. Learn more on the YOU can help pages.

King County Search Dog News

Big News: KCSD is Hiring !

Well not really hiring as we are an all-volunteer non-profit, but King County Search Dogs has started its 2017 membership drive and will be accepting applications for new dog handlers and support specialists for the first time in two years. If you would like to learn more about working with KCSD please come along to one of our public information meetings: Monday March 20th, 7-8 PM Luther […]

Congratulations Oso!

K9 Oso and his handler Heather passed the KCSD airscent pre-test on Saturday finding both his ‘subjects’ in less than 90 minutes. The team is now available for missions within King County. Oso is an expert locksmith/escape artist as well as an up-and-coming search dog and is named after Oso, Washington where Heather participated in the search activities after the tragic 2014 landslide.

“Man’s best friend — and a lost hiker’s, too”

The Issaquah Times has a great write-up on the King County Search Dogs that describes many facets of the unit’s mission and training activities. It features Issaquah-resident Joan and her dog Artoo and includes a gallery of wonderful photos from one of our Wednesday evening training sessions.

More Search Dog News